I'll never buy store bought chicken again
My husband just built a much bigger chicken coop and we've been in the market for hens to add to our flock of 3. I found someone with about 13 baby chicks of various breeds to add. He was scheduled to pick them up about 1:00pm yesterday. By the time I got home from work, he not only got those 13 adorable baby chicks, he bought a rooster fromt the lady with the chicks and 26 additional older chickens (by older, I mean probably 2 months old as opposed to 2 weeks old) at $1 each from our neighbor.
Our neighbor got them from someone down south who was delivering them to a slaughter house somewhere in New Jersey. All 26 of these chickens were being transported in a cage that does not look like it could not hold more than 10 snugly. When I saw them I thought Oh My God, they are in AWFUL condition. Many are missing lots of feathers. One has almost no feathers. They are covered is some kind of dried brown gook and desperately need a bath. On some, the legs look like they are 3xs the size they should be. One has a badly deformed foot. One is missing part of its toe. Some have 3 toes, some have 4. The rooster he got looks so much better proportioned and elegant than these awkwardly shaped birds. They are not used to farm living. We had to put them into the coop for the night then they had no idea how to get out of the coop when we opened it in the morning. They ate like they had been starved for a week. The only good thing is that they are very docile. They were obviously raised in horrible conditions and are probably very in-bred. +
My husband was nice enough to let me eat my chicken nuggets before showing me the birds. I'll never look at store bought chicken the same way again. I'm not advocating not eating chicken but these birds look positively unhealthy - can't be healthy for us to eat either. I don't know if I could slaughter my own birds though. Maybe when they get bigger they will look less awkward. I can't wait to see them clean and fully feathered.